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Updated: Senate Passes Bill to Postpone Medicare Cuts

March 26, 2021

The U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly passed amended legislation (H.R. 1868) that would postpone a 2% cut in Medicare payments, which is scheduled to take effect on April 1. The amended bill—if agreed to by the House of Representatives—would delay these cuts through the end of 2021, giving ASHA and allied stakeholders additional time to push Congress to provide a long-term solution. The 2% payment cuts are the result of a law enacted in 2011 that requires automatic across-the-board cuts to impose fiscal restraint on federal spending, referred to as sequestration reductions.

The cuts have been delayed several times over the past year through previous legislative action. ASHA has engaged in sustained advocacy to extend the moratorium through sending letters to Congress urging action, meeting with members of Congress, supporting members of Congress who introduced legislation, and participating in coalition efforts that would delay the cuts through the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Next Steps

  • The House must still agree to the Senate passed bill to prevent the cuts for now.
  • The House is in recess until April 13; therefore, the sequestration reductions may go into effect for a short time.
  • (3/30/2021): Medicare announced that it will temporarily hold claims pending final Congressional action to avoid the 2% sequestration reductions set to go into effect on April 1, 2021. CMS may hold claims for up to 14 days for dates of service on or after April 1 to avoid reprocessing claims and creating confusion for clinicians. It is expected that the House of Representatives will address this issue when it returns from its recess and a moratorium on this reduction will be enacted for the remainder of 2021.

ASHA will provide additional information to members as developments warrant.


For questions, please contact Jerry White, ASHA’s director of federal affairs, health care, at

ASHA Corporate Partners